The continuing adventures of Lizzie Bell: semi-retired ghost-hunter, reluctant exorcist, and currently in big trouble. (Part Six)
The thing knew my name.
The spirit that was currently in possession of Emily’s body knew my name. This was not good. This was really not good. I backed up, taking deep breaths through my nose to calm my racing heart.
It – not Emily, the thing in her body – began to laugh, a child’s delighted giggle.
“Oh, yes,” it continued. “I know who you are. I know all the Bell brats. Adelaide’s children have long been a…particular interest of mine.”
Adelaide? What does she have to do with this?
“You seem to have the advantage of me,” I said. My voice only wobbled a little. “Care to share your name?”
The thing stopped laughing abruptly; Emily’s tiny blonde eyebrows knit together, and the spirit contorted her face into a snarl. “Don’t patronize, Elizabeth. I’m not some new-born poltergeist, to be taken in by a soothing tone and false promises. Names have power – and right now, all the power is mine.”
“Is it,” I murmured. Raising my voice — though never taking my eyes off the spirit wearing Emily’s body — I called out to Father O’Leary and Mrs. Lawlor. “I think you two had better step outside.”
Emily’s lips drew up into a parody of a smile, baring her teeth. The expression didn’t quite reach her eyes. Despite the ghost’s claim of age and power, it didn’t quite have control of the little girl’s body. “Yes, please do, Mother. I want to play with my new friend.”
Caroline Lawlor whimpered.
“Father, please escort Mrs. Lawlor out,” I said.
“I’ll be fine.”
I held the spirit’s gaze, staring into Emily’s piercing blue eyes. Behind me, I heard Father O’Leary stand up from his chair. He crossed the room, and then the door creaked open and shut, cutting off the sound of Caroline’s crying.
“Okay,” I said. “You’ve got my attention. Let’s talk.”